Nationals Rizzo Baseball

Mike Rizzo is in trouble for going after an ump

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This play, in the ninth inning of yesterday’s Nationals-Mets game, is a blown call.  The throw from Justin Turner clearly pulled Daniel Murphy off the bag and Jayson Werth should have been safe at first. Given that it was a 1-0 game, that was pretty important. Given that the call was so obviously blown, you can understand why Jim Riggleman, Werth and everyone in a gray uniform was a bit miffed with umpire Phil Cuzzi.

But at some point you’re supposed to stop arguing with the ump. And in no event are general managers supposed to seek out the umpire after the game is over and continue to berate him.  Unfortunately, no one gave Mike Rizzo that memo, because he allegedly did that after the game, and the umpires have apparently sent a report to Joe Torre about it.

Cuzzi is no stranger to botched plays, of course. He famously blew that fair/foul call in the 2009 ALDS, depriving Joe Mauer of  hit.  Last year he blew a call that cost the Giants a game — and gave it to the Mets — ruling that Travis Ishikawa slid under Henry Blanco’s tag at the plate when even Blanco said Ishikawa was clearly safe.

But the guy in the suit berating the ump is not the way to handle that kind of thing, and no doubt Rizzo’s wallet is going to be lighter as a result.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.